Renæssanceforum 3 • 2007

Ivan Boserup
The Angers Fragment and the Archetype of the Compendium Saxonis

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In 1920, Emil Rathsach argued that the autograph manuscript of Saxo's Gesta Danorum, of which the so-called Angers fragment is a part, served as archetype of the fourteenth-century Compendium Saxonis, and that the author/abbreviator can be identified as the so-called "third hand" of the Angers fragment, responsible for nearly fifty short annotations. Rathsach was challenged in 1989 by Anders Leegaard Knudsen, followed by Karsten Friis-Jensen in his 2005 Saxo edition. It is argued in the present paper that only Rathsach's identification of the "third hand" as the editor/abbreviator himself has yet been challenged, not, however, the relationship between the Angers manuscript and the textual tradition of the Compendium. In this author's view, this implies that Thomas Riis' research (1977 and 2006) regarding the original book division of the Compendium (and, hence, that of the Angers manuscript) must be positively reconsidered, while Riis' further theories concerning medieval or renaissance manipulations with the book division of the Saxo vulgate (Paris 1514) have - with good reason - been by-passed in silence by Friis-Jensen.